It’s funny to think that many toy
manufacturers were once scared (some may still be) by the growth of video games.
I don’t know if that fear ever spread to LEGO, the world’s most popular building
block. But if so, LEGO wasn’t scared for long. Rather than worry about this new
form of entertainment, they decided to use it to their advantage, first with
LEGO-specific adventures that featured their own brand of characters. Most
recently, LEGO has made its way to Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Rock Band is
getting the LEGO makeover as well, and you can be sure another LEGO Star Wars
game will be developed one day.
This fall, LEGO goes back to Indiana
Jones for another brick-based adventure. Once again, the silly humor is used in
full force. One of the classic scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark is being
remade for this game…and it will include a crazy dance! Kids aren’t the only
ones who will be amused; there were three middle-aged retailer execs watching
the LucasArts presentation and they could not stop laughing.
That kind of humor will always
attract the LEGO-loving crowd. But if you’re like me, you might be wondering if
the games have run their course. It turns out they haven’t. When movie
reenactments were no longer enough, the developers took a good look at the
source material and realized something: this is the perfect game for a level
editor. So they went all out and created a level building tool that lets you
perform the typical video game actions (expand or reduce the world space, raise
or lower the terrain, etc.). That’s just a small part of it. You will also have
access to several dozen LEGO pieces, as well as several pre-made LEGO
structures. Baseplates are the most interesting pieces; they are an exact
replica of the square, green-colored plates that kids have been using for years.
Plates can either be blank or come with pre-placed bricks and structures.
Beyond that, LucasArts is attempting
a new degree of content integration by allowing you to link your homemade levels
with the single-player/co-op quest. In other words, as you play through the
game, you will see your levels as an available option alongside the levels that
were made by the developers. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out,
but if nothing else, the concept is terrific.
As far as the story goes, LEGO
Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues will incorporate all of the Indy
storylines, including last year’s summer hit. The developers are also going to
play around with the story a bit and alter the way certain scenarios unfold.
It’s not going to be an alternate Indy universe, but you may see or do things
that didn’t actually happen in the movies.
When playing with a friend, LEGO
Indiana Jones 2 is more dynamic than any other LEGO games available. If you are
separated from your opponent, the screen will dynamically split in two. Yes,
"dynamic" is the word LucasArts is using to describe it. But I have to agree
with their assessment: rather than simply cut the screen in half, the split
actually moves around to correspond with the area you’re exploring. Sometimes
the screen may be split diagonally; other times, vertically.
Due for release on just about every
console and handheld, LEGO Indiana Jones 2 should be the best thing to happen to
LEGO since Star Wars.